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Foundations of Translation©

CIOL Diploma in Translation (DipTrans) online preparatory course

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Course Overview

Foundations of Translation (FOT)© is an online course designed to prepare candidates for the CIOL DipTrans. It is aimed at:

  • language graduates that want to become translators
  • language professionals (teachers, interpreters) that wish to switch to translation or combine both professions for an extra income stream.

The course is delivered at Master level, and students are expected to have a high command of their foreign language, between C1-C2 level (CEFR), as well as an excellent command of their native language.

The course is delivered over 10 months. This will allow for ample time for consultations and exam revision to guarantee a successful exam result.

The course consists of 6 core modules, detailed in the table below. Students should expect a significant update for the 2022 version of the course.

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Module 0: Introduction

  • Welcome to the course
  • Suggested Reading

Module 1: Translation Theory

  • What translation is
  • Why translation theory is about
  • Language functions, text-categories, and text-types
  • Speech act theory
  • Implicatures and presuppositions

Module 2: Translation Methods and Techniques

  • Translation methods: word-for-word, literal, faithful, adaptation, etc.
  • Translation techniques: borrowing, calque, naturalisation, etc.

Module 3: Translation Problems and Strategic Solutions

  • Levels of translation
  • Translation of lexis
  • Improvement of a text
  • How to build a glossary/ terminological database

Module 4: The DipTrans

  • Exam overview
  • The exam marking crieria

Module 5: Translation Practice

  • Translation of a General Text (U1)
  • Technical Translation (U2)
  • Business Translation (U2)
  • Literary Translation (U2)
  • Scientific Translation (U3)
  • Translation in the Social Sciences (U3)
  • Legal Translation (U3)

Avaliable languages

Foundations of Translation© is taught in English. It prepares candidates for the DipTrans in many language combinations with English as the source or the target language.

As a professional course, NO foreign language is taught. The student is expected to have acquired the language at Mastery Level, that is, at C1-C2 level from the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

So far, Foundations of Translation© has been taught in the following languages. If your language pair is not listed here, contact us to discuss your requirements.

Register your interest in the course and join our VIP list

By registering, there is NO obligation to purchase the course, and you are not being charged for it! However, this allows us to know a little more about you and your requirements. Thank you!

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some of the frequently asked questions from previous candidates. If you cannot find your question here, please contact us!

1What is the DipTrans?
The CIOL Diploma in Translation (DipTrans) is a professional translation qualification. It is recognised and accepted in the UK as well as abroad by all professional translation organisations. The Diploma in Translation is a post-graduate level qualification (Level 7), equivalent to a Master’s level.
2What does Level 7 mean?
A Level 7 qualification in the UK is equivalent to master’s level, i.e. MA or MSc. The DipTrans is the equivalent to the final exam of a Master’s course in Translation.
3What are the benefits of doing the DipTrans?
The DipTrans provides a multitude of benefits: it is Ofqual-regulated, it is an internationally recognised qualification, it improves career prospects.
4What is Ofqual?
Oqual stands for "Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation". This organisation regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England.
5Can I work as a translator without having the DipTrans?
You may be able to translate some documents provided you have fluent written language skills in English and fluent reading comprehension of at least one other language. However, the translation profession is highly competitive. The DipTrans is considered the gold standard for anyone wishing to pursue a successful career as a translator, either as a freelancer or as an employee for an international organisation.
6What is the exam like?
The exam consists of 3 units. For Unit 1 you will have to translate a General Text. Unit 2 consists of ONE written translation of a Semi-specialised text: Technology, Business or Literature. For Unit 3, you will have to produce ONE written translation of a Semi-specialised text in a Science, Social Science or Law.
7How flexible is the course in terms of timings?
The idea is that you can follow the course online and in your own time. We also provide LIVE sessions every two weeks to discuss progress and answer questions on the content.
8Will I be allocated a tutor in my language pairs?
The theoretical content of the course is about applying the correct methods and techniques to solve specific translation problems, without focusing on any language pair. As soon as you enrol in the course you will choose a definite language pair, and a tutor in your chosen language pair will be assigned to assess your translated work.
9How will the course be delivered?
The entire course is available on our MLH Academy online platform. All live sessions are delivered via Zoom.
10How is the course assessed?
There are series of activities per topic module. All translation practice in Module 5 is assessed in line with the DipTrans Assessment Criteria. You will have individual face-to-face feedback with your allocated tutor.
11How can I pay for the course?
The financials of the course will be announced when the course is launched early in 2021. Join the VIP list so that we can keep you up to date.
12What is included in the course?
The total price of the course includes: a virtual face-to-face interview before enrolling on the course, regular contact time with the tutor (virtual face-to-face), downloadable written handout covering the main theoretical aspects of the course, pre-recorded video lessons, Certificate of course completion from My Language Hub - CIOL course provider, access to the entire online course FOR LIFE!!!

Register your interest in the course and join our VIP list

By registering, there is NO obligation to purchase the course, and you are not being charged for it! However, this allows us to know a little more about you and your requirements. Thank you!

Our FOT team

Carina Balbo

Course director and tutor

English-Spanish and Spanish-English

Chartered Linguist Carina Balbo is a professional translator and a foreign language trainer with 25 years’ experience in industry. She is also a professional Assessment specialist working for the major national and international Exam Boards. An author, speaker, mentor and coach, Carina is also a Council Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) and of the Association of Translation Companies (ATC), two of the leading translation organisations in the UK.

Register your interest in the course and join our VIP list

By registering, there is NO obligation to purchase the course, and you are not being charged for it! However, this allows us to know a little more about you and your requirements. Thank you!

Start date: w/c 05 September 2022

Enrolment details on MLH Academy

for exam series: July 2023









Let’s keep in touch. Sign up now to discuss your requirements.